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My boyfriend’s “friends”

Honestly, they are so toxic and they make him sad. What can I do? You can’t live your boyfriend’s life for him, says our elder. What you can do is be there for him.

Dear EWC

My boyfriend and I have been together for about six months and he’s recently started opening up to me about more and more things. I’m a senior in high school. Anyways, he is so kind and funny and honestly just a genuine and good guy. The school we go to is not very big (about 1,100 students total). Our school is extremely cliquey and he hangs out with his football and basketball friends. I sort of sensed he didn’t have a great relationship with his friends because they’d always leave him out of things but he seemed to just brush it off. But they call him names and make fun of him and are honestly super toxic from my point of view because I have a really good group of friends. It makes him really sad and the only time I’ve seen him cry is when he talks to me about what his “friends” have done. They made up a bunch of rumors about him, tried to get his (ex) girlfriend to break up with him, told him I was way out of his league and that I’m playing him (I’m not). It all goes to his head and really makes him upset (understandable) and I just don’t know what to do or say to him.

He said he’s happy with me, but I feel like I’m the only one he has and I don’t want the pressure all on me in case we break up because of college or whatnot. I don’t want to be the only person he can turn to or depend on. It’s really hard to find new groups of friends at my school that are accepting of “new” members, especially senior year. If you have any advice about what to say to him to make him not feel sad or how to deal with the situation I would love to hear it!

Papa-Dude replies

I’m sorry that your boyfriend is having a difficult time with his friends. It must be painful for both of you. It would be great if you could live his life but you can’t.

What you can do is be there for him. He has to deal with his friends and decide how he wants to handle the situation. I think being honest with him is important. As you said, you’re going to be going away to college and things are bound to change. Don’t tell him things to make him feel better if they aren’t true.

Care for him as a girlfriend would. If he asks for advice, give it. Just make sure that he understands it’s an opinion, and that he’s responsible for his choices.

I wish you well. I wish I had more to offer but I really don’t. Oh, one thing, you could suggest is that he talk to the school counselor. Remember his happiness depends on him and his taking care of himself. Talking to a counselor would be a good thing to do.

Letter #: 452235
Category: Dating/Relationship

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